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COVID-19 Patients Begin To Arrive At Santa Clara Convention Center

Photo provided by Santa Clara Public Health Department
Rows of beds line the emptied out Santa Clara Convention Center, in preparation for an influx of patients.

The Santa Clara Convention Center has been transformed into a temporary hospital to treat less severe COVID-19 cases. Its first two patients were admitted today.

The county of Santa Clara declared a local state of emergency on March 11th. Now, with the help of the state and the national guard, the county has converted the convention center into a 250 bed treatment facility. It’s called a Field Respite Center, and it’s one of the first to open in California. 

Experts warn that the next few weeks will bring a swell of COVID-19 patients in need of intensive care. The center is meant to reduce the strain on hospitals treating more critical patients. No walk ups are allowed at this time. 

Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg said in a statement that, "Today's patients will have the ability to recuperate in a safe setting while still sheltering in place (and) keeping all of our residents and essential workers protected."

Chris is a graduate of KALW’s Audio Academy class of 2020. He is currently an Editor-Producer for KQED Podcasts and a freelance reporter. His reporting focuses on disability, mental health, and healthcare inequities, and has won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Public Media Journalists Association, and the San Francisco Press Club.